Sioux City, IA-The Explorers walked five batters over the final two frames and had their three-game home win streak snapped in a 5-1 loss to Sioux Falls Saturday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Sioux Falls (13-21) started the night’s scoring with a single tally in the third. Stephen Branca led off the inning with a single to center. Kevin Dultz followed with a line-drive single to center. The next batter, Steve Tinoco, grounded into a fielder’s choice with a force-out recorded at third. With runners at first and second, a catcher’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt at second allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Brandon Jones picked up an RBI on a ground out to second for a 1-0 lead.
Sioux City (13-23) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Rene Tosoni (pictured) led off the inning with a line-drive single to right. Nate Samson reached on another line-drive single to right. Tosoni moved to third on the play as the right fielder bobbled the ball. A sacrifice fly to center from Tom Mendonca evened the score as Tosoni tagged from third.
After three straight scoreless innings, the Canaries walked their way to the lead in the eighth. Stephen Branca started with a single to right. He was erased from the bases as Kevin Dultz reached on a fielder’s choice. Following a fly out to right, three straight batters walked (one intentionally) with two outs to give Sioux Falls a 2-1 lead. Three more runs scored in the top of the ninth for the game’s final margin.
Sioux Falls right-hander Ben Moore went the distance for the victory. Moore (4-1) allowed an unearned run on eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Greg Holt suffered the loss for Sioux City. Holt (2-5) lasted seven-and-a-third and gave up two runs (one earned) on just five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Rene Tosoni extended his hit streak to seven games as he went 3-for-3 with all singles and a run scored in defeat. For the Canaries, Stephen Branca finished 3-for-4 with one run scored. Kevin Dultz was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, including the go-ahead run in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk. Carlos Mendez also had two hits, and Steve Tinoco posted two RBIs. The season series now sits at three wins apiece.
Sioux City continues its seven-game home stand Sunday night with the series finale against I-29 rival Sioux Falls. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. The Explorers welcome Rockland of the Can-Am League to town for four starting Monday night. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.